Toronto is hot up in the six for this last full month of summer, kicking the month off with a long weekend anchored by Caribana and the annual Drake conference, better known as OVO Fest. While most people will be seeking to escape to cottage country or somewhere fancy in Europe, Toronto does have a smattering of events and festivals to check out, so if you’re feeling some FOMO, take solace, Libby’s crafted a list of what’s what- so get out there and explore, it’ll be parka season soon after all.
August 9-10th will see beer lovers unite for the Roundhouse Craft Beer Festival. Tickets start at $25 and include nothing but admission and a good time, provided you bought enough tokens, which go for $1 for half a beer. Live music, food trucks and lawn games are reminiscent of a certain other beer-fest, but this one boasts a better location, right next to SkyDome (yes, still SkyDome).
And everyone’s favourite carny soaked mini-donut puke fest is back and deep-fried as ever! The Ex, or CNE as it’s nationally known, will take over the Princes’ Gates and surrounding area from August 16th- September 2nd.
And while it technically goes down September 7th, you’ll need to get your tickets to MATTYFEST pronto- tickets go on sale August 1st for this family-friendly Wu-Tang headlined Matty-approved BBQ/ music fest. Tickets run $95 for regular porto-potty privileges, but since cash rules everything around me, it’ll be well worth the expense.
Latin food lovers should hit up the Pan-American Food Fest, taking over Yonge and Dundas Square from August 17-18th. Our very own Carole Nelson Brown will be competing in the Supeheroes Ceviche Competition on the 17th at 6pm sharp. Carole will be making her Lobster Aguachile-Eh with Ontario Peach Pico de Gallo, and the crowd will weigh in on the winner.
Tickets are on sale for the upcoming FoodBall, a culinary event that will see chefs from around the world creating unique and other-worldly dishes in support of Sinai Health Foundation. The event takes place on October 4th at the Liberty Grand Entertainment Centre.
Union Summer Market is back and better than ever, with new restaurants and tons of programming to court you out of your cubicle. The open air market features some of Toronto’s finest chefs in pop-up mode, with live music and movies adding to that camp feel. Restaurants like El Catrin, Union Chicken and The Carbon Bar (just to name drop a few) have set up shop to offer a little something different for commuters and Jays fans on their way to the big game. Tuesdays see trivia and more entertainment taking over the market, find out more here. It closes August 3rd.
Sugar Kane is bringing the heat, adding a spicy note to all that souvlaki-ness that is known formally as Greek Town. Fusing Caribbean and Cajun cuisine, Sugar Kane has just opened to the Danforth and Pape ‘hood.
The emporium of everything Miss Pippa’s in now open in Brockton Village. The flower shop is filled with candy, cheese, wine and cocktails, with jewelry, soap and more on hand for last minute hostess gifts, or pick up a little something to treat yo’ self.
OVO Heather Lang approves of the new Avling Brewery, a new destination in Leslieville for beers and bites. Chef Suzanne Barr is helming the kitchen, so you can expect big things from this brew hall.
Bumping up next to Buca Portland, Shook Kitchen offers a fully vegetarian experience, with Israeli influences.
Lanna is now open in Markham. Featuring foods from Northern Thailand, the spacious dining room is decked out and bedazzled in gold, with renowned Sang Kim involved in some capacity…we approve.
Flock at Yonge and Sheppard has just opened, much to the delight of literally everyone in the ‘hood. Do we need anymore bubble tea or Korean BBQ places? Yes, but we’re also beyond excited to have Cory’s famous chicken and beautiful salads available for grab and go meals. He’s also stretching his beak a further, with a seventh location just listed, coming to Yonge and Eglinton.
Hotel Delilah is Gerrard’s newest bar with bites, and conveniently, a couple hotel rooms too. The funky space smack dab by Jones is boasting a kitchen cranking out favourites, Libby loved the meat-free snack based menu and smart drinks list.
Dough McNish’s Mythology has just reopened. The plant based eatery got a revamp and reno, with a gussied up menu to supply Parkdale with a destination worthy vegan diner.
Nodo, the Junction darling, has it’s eyes on the east side. Leslieville will welcome Nodo soon in the former location of Lambretta. Nodo is notable for its classic Italian eats made from scratch, a safe bet for Queen East.
Lisa Marie our fave Queen West spot for burgers, beers, bingo, and of course Pad Thai fries, lives on through a food truck and catering, but the restaurant has now been reinvented as Smoke Barbecue and Kitchen. They’ve just launched this week, stay tuned for more juice on this one!
Mira Mira has been in the catering business for a while now on Queen East, and also runs an outpost at the Assembly Chef’s Hall. They’re ready to add a little sprinkle of fun to their business with the addition of an ice cream shop to their east end operations. Look for in house-made ice creams and grab and go bites.
Holy Perogy is launching on The Queensway on July 20th. The globally inspired perogy parcels will feature ingredients from around the world, like goat cheese and honey chipotle. This is the first of many planned Holy Perogy locations, so scope out this one and be on trend. Heather Lang inspected the goods, read up on all the morsels here.
Leslieville darling Ascari’s has now opened their second restaurant, this time on King West, with a 120-seat concept set to steal hearts and sway King Street eaters away from the Kit Kat, I mean, obviously.
by CHLOE.‘s 16th location is opening in Yorkdale Shopping Centre this September. The plant based eatery is massive in the US, with an almost cult-like following for the chain that only began in 2015. A second location is already in the works for the Financial District right downtown.
Vicino Italian kitchen and Pizzeria is a brand spanking new pizza place coming to Regent Park. Look for this authentic Italian eatery to open in the next month or so.
Gordon’s is a new Pub and Kitchen opening in Leslieville at the corner of Queen and Pape. Look for Gordon’s to open their doors in the next month or so.
Queue De Cheval is setting up shop in theatre district, look for this beast to open in the coming months right in the base of a glitzy condo building. The Quebecois steakhouse will put STK and The Keg on high alert, but Jacob’s could care less, since, well, it’s Jacob’s.
Claudio Aprile has an update on his latest collaboration with Liberty Entertainment Group, Xango is about six weeks away from completion. Claudio is telling us it’ll be a more ‘accessible’ menu, with a vibrant backdrop to showcase his culinary prowess. We’re teeming for this one MasterChef!
Jen Agg’s Bar Vendetta has been documented on it’s opening by Toronto Star, so if you’re looking to know what it takes to open a restaurant in the city, bust beyond that paywall and read up. We’ll wait for the pasta and drink menus, which will no doubt be a summer highlight for anyone with a palate and a pulse. We’re already lining up for this one.
Terroni and Sud Forno are wrapping up the massive project set in a heritage house/condo concept at Yonge and Eglinton. This bustling neighbourhood is ready to devour this dream team, with morning to night eats and treats from this Italian heavyweight.
Babel at Yonge and York Mills is the latest Toronto project for O&B, who are expanding into Saskatchewan in a Risk-style invasion/domination across Canada. Babel is now occupying the space that was once a Movenpick, this time, no passport will be required for the Middle Eastern eatery, no word on if they removed the swing bench in the back.
After some speculation and rumors from Aurora, it was confirmed that Adamson BBQ, will open this summer in 905-land. Smack dab on Yonge street.
Manulife Centre is still getting glammed, and anchor tenant Eataly attached to the project. If you haven’t been to one of the other locations, in Chicago, Italy or NYC, it’s a sprawling space of pasta, pizzas and grab and go Italian style, now Batali free.
Julie’s Cuban, a decades long destination on Dovercourt, is closing.
Track and Field is gone, but Bangarang lives on. T&F just shuttered in late July to make way for, you guessed it, condos.
Gluten-free and gone forever, Rosie’s Eatery on Avenue road crumbled last month.
Got a food tip? Want a shout out for your new spot? Drop me a note- Libby@auburnlane.com